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Grackles Don’t Cuddle

By John I. Blair

While pumping gas the other evening
I faced a raucous flock of grackles,
Gathered in garlands
On the power lines overhead,
And something struck me
About the way they sat.

No two birds touched; instead
They had divided each from each
As evenly as if they’d been prepared
Like pearls on knotted string
To keep from scratching
One another in the night.

“Aha!” I said. “Another thing
To distinguish birds from people!”

©2002 John I. Blair

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Reader Comments

Name: Melinda Cohenour Email:
Comment: Grackles are some of my favorite birds. They are a boisterous and prideful group. As you mention, they may not be cuddlesome, for they are the Party Birds of the bird kingdom. The big shiny, black male birds (with their iridescent feathers glittering in the sun) remind me of a New York or Boston construction crew: whistling loudly and preening as each lovely, brass-chested female strolls by. And no one can fail to be amused when they start up their "Party time!" hoots, caws, clacks and "Yeehaw" noises.



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